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Countries of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) do not currently have any joint project to produce solar energy but they expect to draw up plans for joint research and study projects and exchange information on the production of solar power, according to Qatar's deputy prime minister and minister of energy and industry.
Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah said: "GCC countries should deal with this issue seriously, because we have a strong source of energy in sun that should be exploited."
He was speaking to Emirates Business yesterday on the sidelines of the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.
About a GCC project offered by the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) in its third Preparatory Session held in Abu Dhabi, he said: "We attended the session as a monitoring country. I think such a project is still an idea and needs deep study. We do not have any practical steps for the implementation of joint projects in solar energy in co-operation with Abu Dhabi or any other country.
"At present, Qatar is singlehandedly carrying out research on many kinds of renewable energy and their advantages, especially solar energy. Qatar has sought the help of world bodies and experts in this regard, but there has been no final opinion yet."
Underlining the importance of projects launched by the UAE in the fields of nuclear and renewable energy, Al Attiyah said: "We look at UAE's peaceful nuclear programme with admiration and we hope the UAE implements it in best possible way."
On Qatar's stand vis-à-vis renewable energy, Al Attiyah said: "Qatar does not favour renewable energy over traditional energy and does not consider traditional energy as harmful. We are the world's biggest exporter of gas and we can confirm that we are against any kind of non-traditional and renewable energy. We should not have to be extremists in our judgments on oil and gas, because renewable energy has dangerous problems, which has been confirmed in scientific research and studies issued recently. These studies show there are very dangerous and harmful emissions of carbon dioxide. We should be very careful of renewable energy projects, especially since they require huge funds.
"We should examine what we hear from media institutions and global commercial blocs, which push us to direct our financial resources to renewable energy and move away from our research and discoveries of oil and gas. If that happens, it will certainly be a mistake and we will lose a very important source of our financial resources. The fluctuation of prices and production of oil in global markets should not push us to transform our studies and research to renewable energy."
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